Chinati Foundation hosts celebration this Saturday, July 23 for opening of stunning new permanent artwork 16+ years in the making

Monday morning July 18, at a sneak preview of Robert Irwin's ambitious new work, Chinati Foundation Executive Director Jenny Moore holds a sample of the polyester fabric the artist used extensively inside the new building to allow for the ever changing play of light. Irwin has evidently been working with this fabric since the 1960s. Moore encouraged members of the press to touch the sample material if desired, and reminded us that once inside, to please not touch the very appealing fabric nor the walls, since the entire building is actually the work of art. "The quality of the material is such that the way light interacts with it, it may look solid or entirely transparent," noted Moore.
Monday morning July 18, at a sneak preview of Robert Irwin’s ambitious new work, Chinati Foundation Executive Director Jenny Moore holds a sample of the polyester fabric the artist used extensively inside the new building to allow for the ever changing play of light. Irwin has evidently been working with this fabric since the 1960s. Moore encouraged members of the press to touch the sample material if desired, and reminded us that once inside, to please not touch the very appealing fabric nor the walls, since the entire building is actually the work of art. “The quality of the material is such that the way light interacts with it, it may look solid or entirely transparent,” notes Moore. (Marlys Hersey, photo)

MARFA—The Chinati Foundation announces the inauguration of a major new artwork by Robert Irwin for the museum’s permanent collection.

On Saturday, July 23, 2016, from dawn to dusk, the Chinati Foundation/La Fundación Chinati will open a new large-scale artwork by Robert Irwin. Sixteen years in the planning, this long-awaited installation further elaborates Donald Judd’s vision of Chinati as a singular place for contemporary art and is the first major addition to the collection since the opening of the Dan Flavin project in 2000 and the opening of the John Wesley gallery in 2004.

Irwin’s largest work to date, it represents the culmination of his decades-long investigation into the act of perception through poetic manipulation of space and light. What Irwin has contributed to Chinati is an artwork in the form of a building, with light and shadow as its primary subjects.

While Robert Irwin is recognized as one of the outstanding artists of his generation, much of his past work was created and installed on a temporary basis. His new project for Chinati is the only permanent, freestanding structure that has been conceived and designed by Irwin as a total work of art.

In 1999, Irwin was invited to create a work for the site of a long-abandoned army hospital adjacent to the museum’s main campus. Over the ensuing years, Irwin developed and refined a design that was informed by the open conditions of the derelict building, the surrounding landscape, and the sky overhead. The completed work fuses indoors and outdoors, art and architecture, the past and the present, nature and the man-made, and creates an ideal complement to Chinati’s permanent collection.

Donald Judd collected and supported Robert Irwin’s art and hoped to include it at Chinati. This ambitious project realizes that goal and will also contribute to the growing reputation of Marfa, Texas as one of America’s unique cultural places.

Opening Weekend

The inauguration of Robert Irwin’s new work for Chinati will be held on Saturday, July 23, 2016, from sunrise to sunset. The building is located at the corner of Bonnie and South Yale Street in Marfa, Texas. Everyone is invited to attend. There will be a free community-wide barbecue dinner with Mariachi music at the Arena from 6:30 to 9 pm, and a public talk about the development of Irwin’s work at the Crowley Theater in downtown Marfa at 3:30 pm.

Selected works from The Chinati Foundation’s permanent collection will be open throughout the weekend, and there will be a sunrise viewing of Judd’s works in mill aluminum and works in concrete on Sunday morning.

The museum is open every Wednesday through Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm with a selection of docent-led tours or self-guided viewing options available. Admission prices vary. For more information visit our website at www.chinati.org or call Visitor Services at 432-729-4362. 1 Cavalry Row, PO Box 1135, Marfa, Texas 79843.

"To be standing in a piece we've held in our mind's eye for so long is really astonishing," said Chinati Foundation Executive Director Jenny Moore. "The nature of [Bob Irwin's] work is like capturing lightning in a bottle." (Marlys Hersey, photo)
“To be standing in a piece we’ve held in our mind’s eye for so long is really astonishing,” said Chinati Foundation Executive Director Jenny Moore. “The nature of [Robert Irwin’s] work is like capturing lightning in a bottle.” (Marlys Hersey, photo)
The shadow play inside the new Irwin exhibit is magical -- and changes slowly throughout the day as the sun moves. As Chinati's director of administration Jenniifer Lees notes, the installation and experience of being in the space is "radically different at different times of day... different with clouds, time of year. It's always changing," and suggests one ideal way to enjoy the new exhibit would be to visit at dawn and again at dusk. "I wish I could schedule myself as a guard in here, to watch for a whole day." (Marlys Hersey, photo)
The shadow play inside the new Irwin exhibit is magical — and changes slowly throughout the day as the sun moves. As Chinati Foundation Director of Administration Jennifer Lees notes, the installation and experience of being in the space is “radically different at different times of day–and with clouds, time of year. It’s always changing,” and suggests one ideal way to enjoy the new exhibit would be to visit at dawn and again at dusk. “I wish I could schedule myself as a guard in here, to just watch how it changes over a whole day.” (Marlys Hersey, photo)
Construction workers put the finishing touches on the building just a few days before the grand opening this weekend. (Marlys Hersey, photo)
Construction workers put the finishing touches on the building just a few days before the grand opening this weekend. (Marlys Hersey, photo)
Inside the new Irwin work of art, on the boundary between light and dark, looking out into the courtyard. Though the installation is remarkably simple, and sparse, it was by no means an easy concept to conceptualize, design, and execute. As Chinati Foundation director Jenny Moore pointed out, "This is the culmination of so many things [Robert Irwin] has been working on for so long, working with light, space, and perception for 60 years." (Marlys Hersey, photo)
Inside the new Irwin work of art, on the boundary between light and dark, looking out into the courtyard. Though the installation is remarkably simple, and sparse, it was by no means an easy concept to conceptualize, design, and execute. As Chinati Foundation Director Jenny Moore pointed out, “This is the culmination of so many things [Irwin] has been working on for so long, working with light, space, and perception for 60 years.” (Marlys Hersey, photo)
In the middle of the new u-shaped building, a courtyard with palo verde trees also showcases a collection of basalt columns (made by volcanoes in Washington state and brought to West Texas). which have apparently delighted Irwin for years; the artist apparently decided this was finally the right space to incorporate them as part of this massive work of art. (Marlys Hersey, photo)
In the middle of the new U-shaped building, a courtyard with palo verde trees also showcases a collection of basalt columns (made by volcanoes in Washington state and brought to West Texas). which have apparently delighted Irwin for years; the artist apparently decided this was finally the right space to incorporate them as part of this massive work of art. (Marlys Hersey, photo)
Chinati Foundation photographer Jessica Lutz (left) enthusiastically discusses the installation in the midst of where the piece transitions from dark to light. (Marlys Hersey, photo)
Chinati Foundation Communication Coordinator Jessica Lutz (left) enthusiastically discusses the installation in the midst of where the piece transitions from dark to light. (Marlys Hersey, photo)

 

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